Immersive ethics tool helps developers avoid Internet of Things dystopia | 3/22/2019 | Staff
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Google's infamous "Don't be evil" motto laid out the core values of its founders in the simplest terms (whether or not you think they have stuck to their promise is another conversation). But is being tech-ethical as simple as just stating your values, or does it require further introspection throughout the process of development?

The imminent rollout of the 5G network has been described as the herald of the fourth industrial revolution, bringing unprecedented connectivity between devices which will transform the way we live. But as more devices in our homes become connected and join the growing Internet of Things (IoT), developers need to start asking themselves more questions about the ethical implications of their creations.

Story - Device - Leak - Data - IoT

It's become a familiar story lately. A popular "smart" device is found to be embarrassingly insecure or easily hackable, leading to a leak of highly sensitive data. IoT developers are learning fast that security cannot be overlooked, and privacy issues regarding the protection of user identity are equally important. When we buy products like Amazon's Alexa which are intimately involved in our everyday lives—seeing and hearing everything we do—we need to know that the personal data they collect about us is not being misused.

The VIRTeu project, coordinated by Irina Shklovski of the IT University of Copenhagen, is creating tools and activities that help IoT developers bring ethics into their own conversations. Their latest exploit, Bear & Co, is an immersive experience that plunges participants into the world of a fictitious IoT start-up. Inspired by the real-life CloudPets—a "smart" teddy bear company whose product famously recorded and stored millions of easily-hacked conversations between parents and children online—Bear & Co invites participants to...
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